Women's Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:47 pm on 10th June 1988.

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Photo of Ms Audrey Wise Ms Audrey Wise , Preston 1:47 pm, 10th June 1988

I associate myself entirely with my hon. Friend's intervention. I shall not repeat it, but I reinforce it.

The hon. Member for Torridge and Devon, West said that women live longer than men. We are grateful for that, but it does not follow that the quality of life and health of most women is better than that of men. We are survivors, but women often survive against great odds and with greatly impaired health for many years. They suffer considerable stress and strain and physical ill health.

Simply living longer is not a good enough objective. We must achieve a better quality of health for women and it is not enough simply to say that we can stick a bandage on the Health Service or issue umpteen prescriptions for tranquilisers or tranquilise the whole population so that it does not see what happens to society. Sometimes I think that that is happening. We need an attitude to health that looks at the whole person in health care and medicine and not simply at isolated symptoms. As public policy we need to look at the whole of society. We need adequate preventive medicine for our society. I end as I began, by placing the matter of women's health care in the context of poverty and deprivation and the need for new priorities.